Date: February 20, 2000
Location: Cow Palace, San Francisco, California
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Mike Tenay
Well the TV shows have been some of the least interesting things I’ve ever had to sit through, so maybe the pay per view will be the complete opposite and be entertaining. I mean, stranger things have happened right? The main events tonight are Sid Vicious defending the World Title against Jeff Jarrett and Scott Hall in a three way, plus Hogan vs. Luger and Funk vs. Flair because they haven’t replaced the Radicalz, but these old guys are still going to be fighting each other no matter who else is on the card. Let’s get to it.
The opening video starts by focusing on Funk vs. Flair. The start of Funk’s promo overlaps the opening narration as they can’t even get something simple like “wait five more seconds” right. Sid defending the World Title is billed third here.
We open with, of course, a promo. Jarrett and the Twins leave the Commissioner’s office along with the girls, much to Gene’s shock. Much to my shock too as the Twins were banned from the building. Jarrett says he’s in charge due to hitting Nash with the guitar on Thunder. His first ruling: the Twins are allowed at ringside.
The announcers run down the card to fill in even more time, including the “Special Main Event Match” with The Demon vs. The Wall.
We recap the Cruiserweight Title tournament, including the matches between people not even in the finals. This gets us to over ten minutes of filler before the first match starts.
Cruiserweight Title: The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea vs. Lash Leroux
The title is vacant coming in and Artist has Paisley with him. Lash spanks Paisley and gets punched in the face. Some southern gentleman. Prince hammers away at the shoulder (allegedly head) in the corner but gets shoved down onto a very loud ring. Lash’s version of Flip Flop and Fly is broken up by a superkick to the face, only to get sent to the floor for a dive from the southern non-gentleman. Back in and Prince doesn’t seem to mind being crushed by a dive as he ties Lash up in the Tree of Woe for a running knee. Oh yeah Kevin Sullivan is in charge.
Lash tries a sunset flip but Iaukea grabs Charles Robinson’s crotch to stay on his feet before licking his own finger and pressing it to Lash’s head. The Artist keeps yelling at the referee (to be fair Robinson didn’t seem to like having his crotch grabbed) and Paisley gets on the apron for no apparent reason other than to give us a bright purple bodysuit as a distraction. Lash slugs away but the Paisley distraction lets Prince hit the middle rope DDT for the pin and the title.
Rating: D. This was a Thunder match with a lame ending that did nothing to get the fans into the show. These two are the least interesting guys in the entire tournament (yes, less interesting than Kaz Hayashi) and they wind up in the finals. A member of 3 Count should have won this and then feuded with some other cruiserweight to build that person up as the new big deal. Instead it goes to Iaukea, who isn’t over and hasn’t been over in about three years since he beat Regal for the TV Title. Calling him over back then is a stretch but it’s as close as he ever got otherwise.
Norman Smiley has his ribs taped up after being chokeslammed through a table on Thunder.
Brian Knobbs yells about never giving up.
There’s a private room that no one is allowed inside. If no one is allowed inside, why bother looking at it? In theory wouldn’t that mean no one is inside in the first place?
Hardcore Title: Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Brian Knobbs
Brian is challenging so naturally he lost on TV this week. He also has a broken arm thanks to Luger. The brawl starts early and here’s Fit Finlay, who has been feuding with Knobbs in recent weeks but of course starts helping him here. Madden: “The title moves around a lot.” Bigelow is the third champion in about four months. That’s not moving around that fast. The World Title has changed hands seven times in January. If the Hardcore Title moves around a lot, the World Title took third in the 100m at the 1984 Olympics.
Knobbs and Bigelow fight into the back as Tenay says no one holds the belt that long. The first reign was a month and a half and the second was about a month. Would a little research kill these people? Bigelow throws him into a table of stuff but Finlay blasts the champ in the back of the head. Finlay is too talented to be involved here though and Knobbs says he wants to do this himself.
They head back to the ring where it’s table time, which leads to an interesting, semi-fourth wall breaking discussion of why there are so many tables under the ring. Knobbs sends himself through the table by mistake, setting up the Greetings From Asbury Park. Bigelow goes up top instead of covering and gets hit with with cast, knocking him out to the floor to give Brian the pin and the title.
Rating: F. It was boring, it didn’t make sense, and above all else it was poorly researched. If there’s one thing I want in my hardcore matches, it’s a heavily detailed bibliography with footnotes and references, along with a recommendation of other hardcore matches worth watching for further education. Is that too much to ask?
Flair and Luger are ready.
Sid and Hall’s dressing rooms are guarded.
3 Count vs. Norman Smiley
No singing tonight because it’s time to fight. No shoulder pads for Norman tonight either. Norman’s ribs are injured thanks to Wall chokeslamming him through a table. Tony: “Let’s take a look at the angle that lead to his injury.” Smiley cleans house to start and backdrops Shannon so hard over the top that he clears the other band members.
3 Count takes over without going after the ribs, though in their defense the ribs are covered by a 49ers jersey. The ribs are fine enough for a giant swing to Helms but Shannon breaks up the Big Wiggle. Shane and Shannon stop to dance, allowing Norman to wiggle instead. The band finally finds the bad ribs and stomps Norman down in the corner, setting up a pair of top rope splashes and a Boston crab to make Smiley give up.
Rating: D. So you give Norman a 3-1 disadvantage and an injury and then have him lose. Points for being logical, points taken away for killing the crowd by having the fan favorite lose. I like that they’re pushing 3 Count, but if they think this is going to get the fans to care about them, they’re even more lost than I thought.
Jarrett wants the Harris Brothers to find out who is in the locked room.
The Demon vs. The Wall
This is the MAIN EVENT MATCH, which is WCW’s way of fulfilling their contract with Kiss without wasting a main event on Demon. There’s no Wall because he realized how stupid this whole thing is. Demon goes to find him and gets jumped from behind, triggering another brawl.
Wall takes it inside and chokes with his boot as this is looking like a squash to start. Demon comes back with a clothesline and stomps away before mixing it up by punching in the corner. Back up and Wall drops him ribs first onto the ropes, only to get slammed off the top. The fans are already jeering this match so thankfully Wall chokeslams him off the top for the pin.
Rating: F. On pay per view mind you. This actually happened on pay per view. But it was a MAIN EVENT MATCH so everything is fine right? Demon was a character that was dead in the water before he started but at least they seem to be trying with Wall. I’d be stunned if he isn’t just being built up as cannon fodder for someone else but he’s getting a push for now.
Ernest Miller promises that James Brown is here. Apparently Beethoven stole his stuff from Little Richard, who stole it from James Brown. The things you learn around here.
The Twins can’t get into the room.
We recap Tank Abbott vs. Big Al, because this needs a story. Actually it does, as I have no idea why they’re fighting. Al is Tank’s former bodyguard from the UFC, so they’re having a leather jacket on a pole match.
Tank Abbott vs. Big Al
Al is in jeans and a biker vest. He takes off his belt and they tie their hands together, which means Tank is going to have to……oh dear goodness he’s going to have to wrestle. Or just throw left hands and swear a lot. Al hits him with a forearm that breaks the belt and seems to knock Tank out cold. Then he takes forever to wrap Tank’s legs around the post but stops, says that’s too good for him, and gets back inside. Back in and Al stands on his face, making sure to lean against the ropes.
Tank slugs him down and then throws Al onto his shoulders. For some reason he climbs all the way to the top, where he drops Al down, sending him feet first into the steps and head second onto the floor. By the way, to Bill Watts, THAT’S WHY YOU HAVE MATS OUT THERE (I read his book recently and he still thinks the biggest danger is a sprained ankle if you step on the edge). With Al somewhere between unconscious and dead, Tank goes out and hits him once in the chest before going up for the jacket and the win.
Rating: Spencer Tracy in Father of the Bride. That’s as logical of a rating as I can give you after this. We had Al, who just appeared but has never wrestled before and I don’t believe will after this match, against Tank Abbott, who also isn’t a wrestler (at least by my definition), in a match about a leather jacket. Throw in the likely brain trauma for Al and this is one of the biggest calamities I’ve ever seen.
And now, for the infamous part. Abbott finds a knife in one of the jacket pockets and holds it over the unconscious Al’s throat, where he says he could kill Al right now. Tony suggests that they were scissors and that Abbott was going to cut Al’s beard. That line has been mocked a lot over the years, but I’ll actually give Tony credit for thinking it up that fast. Have you got a better idea for what he should be saying there? Now that being said, it would have been a lot better if Al actually had a beard.
We recap the battle of Harlem Heat. Stevie Ray claimed that Booker had forgotten where he came from and has since given Booker’s spot on the team to Big T. This of course includes the rights to the letter T. Booker was also arrested on attempted murder charges because he hit an atomic drop on J. Biggs. That’s a bit harsh. I mean, maybe he was just trying to cut off Biggs’ beard.
Booker tries to keep it simple by saying he’ll teach Big T. a lesson tonight. The T isn’t mentioned.
Booker vs. Big T.
For the rights to Harlem Heat. Oh and Booker has Leave It To Beaver music because he’s lost the rights to the Harlem Heat song. Stevie has promised that someone is coming back from Booker’s past to cost him the match tonight. That pretty much leaves Sherri Martel and Midnight unless it’s someone new. T. pounds on not-T to start but Booker comes back with a weak Angle Slam and a suplex.
Stevie grabs Booker’s foot (sounds like a hostile takeover of the B on Booker’s boot) so T. can knock Booker to the floor. Back in and Booker hits his kicks before knocking Biggs off the apron. There’s the Book End and missile dropkick but the lights go out. Thank goodness the referee counted so slowly. The bell tolls midnight and the lights come up with a large man (maybe 4×4 from the No Limit Soldiers) to distract Booker, setting up the Pearl River Plunge to pin Booker. I guess it was too much to ask the guy to actually do anything but stand there.
Rating: D-. Now, NEVER LET THEM FIGHT AGAIN. Big T. is worthless at this point and adding someone even bigger doesn’t make the team mean anything more. Booker is stuck in this stupid story because the idea of moving him up the card is a sin of some sort. I’m sure we’ll get another match though as Booker will find someone to team with him next time.
The Maestro is sick of hearing about James Brown and has a bet in mind: if Brown isn’t here, Miller has to be Maestro’s servant. If Brown is here, Maestro will listen to any music Miller picks exclusively. Keep in mind that this whole bet has been set up on the night of the show with about 100 minutes of air time left. This falls under the theory that if you have a good looking woman in the background (Symphony here), the scene is much easier to sit through.
The Twins beat up a backstage worker who can’t unlock the door. I know they’re not known for being too bright, but is it that complicated to have two 6’6 300lb monsters kick in a wooden door?
We get a WAY too long recap of Kidman vs. Vampiro, who had two good TV matches and then Vampiro walked out on him in a tag match. Tonight is the tiebreaker and the Wall is also involved in some way, though he isn’t appearing in this match. Therefore, I’m sure you get why he’s featured in the recap video. The video goes on for nearly two minutes, which might set a record for the longest recap of a midcard match ever.
Vampiro vs. Kidman
The announcers spend the entrances talking about how Kidman has moved up from the Cruiserweight division, which is a nice sentiment but I’m not sure how accurate it really is given that he’s fighting Vampiro in a midcard match. Feeling out process to start with Kidman grabbing a headlock (a non-cruiserweight headlock of course) but Vampiro punches him in the head, allowing Kidman to hurricanrana him out to the floor.
Back in and Vampiro scores with a dropkick as the fans are eerily silent. A quick shot of Torrie helps a bit and Kidman counters a powerbomb (duh), only to have his knee dropkicked out from under him. Torrie gets knocked off the apron so Kidman snaps Vampiro’s neck across the top to go check on her. Madden does his best Jerry Lawler impression but it comes off as far more creepy stalker than loveable dirty old man like Lawler. Vampiro slams Kidman in and gets two off a snap suplex.
A Fameasser (called the Dropper according to Tenay) gets two more as Madden makes up a bit for being creepy by saying this could be a US Title match in a year and a World Title match in two years. Kidman’s top rope hurricanrana (which he used to win the first match) gets two but Vampiro blows my mind by doing the unthinkable: he powerbombs Kidman……TWICE!!! Since the announcers don’t get one of Kidman’s biggest deal, they treat this as nothing special.
In a very quick ending, Kidman goes up top for a sunset bomb but turns around into a kind of super reverse DDT for the pin. It looked really awkward and Vampiro is slow to get up. It’s not quite Big Al being dropped onto the concrete from above the top rope, but that was a totally non-cruiserweight pulling Vampiro down in a reverse DDT. That has to hurt.
Rating: C-. Pretty uninspired stuff here but at least they only took seven matches to get something to go six minutes. This was treated like a big feud but it never came off as anything more than taking two guys with talent and throwing them together because the company had nothing better to do with them. Somehow I’m sure they’ll be blamed for the crowd not caring after an hour of really dull stuff.
Funk promises to win the death match with Dustin Rhodes in his corner.
Sid tells security to get away from his door.
David Flair, Daffney and Crowbar have fun with the stretcher.
We recap the Tag Team Title match, which is over Vito’s sister’s wedding being broken up by the crazy people. Therefore, tonight is an Italian stretcher match for the Mamalukes’ titles in the third match between these teams.
The Mamalukes don’t accept their family being hurt by anyone. It’s so bad that Johnny doesn’t want a cheese sandwich.
Tag Team Titles: Crowbar/David Flair vs. Mamalukes
Mamalukes are defending and this is suddenly a Sicilian stretcher match. Both members of a team have to be taken up the aisle on stretchers to end this. The brawl starts on the floor, as you would expect, with Disco getting in on commentary as you would also expect. Naturally we look at him as Tony says this is a shoot to him. This is one place where I would prefer WWE’s current way too tough commentary restrictions. If any of those words were spoken on Raw, Vince would probably come out and beat Cole senseless live on TV.
The champions run down the crazy guys with a stretcher, which Daffney finds hilarious. They head inside instead of trying to take them the other way on the stretcher because this company’s wrestlers aren’t that bright. Daffney comes in for a hurricanrana on Johnny, which seems to just annoy him. A lead pipe to the back (so lead that it bends as it hits Johnny) puts Johnny down again and the champs are in trouble. The fans are trying to get into this but it’s really not lasting. My hearing isn’t lasting either after Daffney screeches into the camera.
Crowbar hits a Lionsault onto Vito and it’s time to break up the stretcher. Tony does his “I can’t believe we’re watching this” voice and Vito powerbombs Crowbar through the table. Apparently Disco has been poked in the eye and can’t tell what is happening to who. Johnny jumps from the mat to the top rope ala Shelton Benjamin for a spinning legdrop (with an acceptable pause for balance).
David is taped onto the stretcher and the referees wheel it to the back because……I don’t care why because this is closer to being over. Crowbar dives onto both Mamalukes as the fans are just silent here. Daffney rings the bell to confuse things even more, which somehow takes two minutes for the announcers to figure out. Vito splashes Crowbar through a table on the floor and puts he and Daffney (Madden: “The screams are usually a sign she’s enjoying herself.”) on the stretcher to finally end this.
Rating: D. There are multiple problems here, but the biggest problem is who was in the match. Flair and Crowbar are a freakshow team and the Mamalukes are just ok. That’s the problem with them: they’re just so average that there’s nothing interesting to say about them. The other problem here is we’ve covered this already. The Mamalukes have beaten Flair and Crowbar three times now and there’s nothing left to say with this feud. Unfortunately, who else is there for them to feud with? 3 Count? The Harris Twins? That’s about as good as the division has at this point, which goes back to my request: HIRE NEW PEOPLE!
With the Mamalukes’ music still playing, Jarrett and the Twins leave their locker room. This was a fifteen second segment and changed nothing.
Sid promises to prove that he’s the World Champion because he deserves to be.
Here’s Ernest Miller for the big talking segment, which for some reason is about ERNEST MILLER. He dances to the ring and rips on the fans for being rednecks who didn’t believe he could get James Brown. “You didn’t believe me and James Brown were like two neckbones in a pot!” After some more insults, here’s a James Brown impersonator so bad that Rick Bognar is off somewhere shaking his head.
Cue the Maestro and Symphony because this is really happening on pay per view. Maestro sounds like he’s trying to use an accent but can’t decide what country it’s supposed to be from. Miller isn’t going to do anything Maestro says and there goes James’ sunglasses, revealing that it’s not the real one.
Cue a bunch of dancers, leading down the real James Brown with another entourage. The Maestro’s reaction (jaw hanging open and then fainting) is awesome but this just keeps going to destroy any good feelings. Miller and Brown dance and I think this is a face turn. I know I want to cheer for someone who was calling the fans stupid rednecks when this started but hey, he brought out a singer to dance with him.
The announcers act like this is awesome as it just continues. Brown gives Miller his cape for a passing of the torch or whatever but they have to pose on the apron before this is finally done. Total time between Miller’s music starting and cutting to ANYTHING else: 12:06, or longer than any match so far.
Hall talks about how he can go and the James Brown music is playing over his promo.
We recap Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk, which started with Funk saying he’s a bigger legend and that Flair is jealous. David Flair got beaten up but Ric wouldn’t help him, causing Arn Anderson to walk away from Ric. This is somehow a sequel to their famous feud in 1989 because there was no one young and talented for either guy to put over.
Flair says he’s awesome and drops a lot of catchphrases.
If you buy this show, you get a teddy bear! I could use a teddy bear to hold and rock back and forth as I scream into the darkness if the rest of the show is as bad as the first two hours.
Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk
Death match, meaning last man standing but you have to get a fall before the ten count starts. Dustin Rhodes is sitting in a chair to cheer Funk on as the guys slug it out in the corner. Flair rolls outside and the stalling begins but Funk quickly suplexes him back inside. There’s the spinning toehold but Flair punches his way out of it. They fight outside with Funk hitting another suplex as this is already in slow motion.
Ric is up first, only to take another suplex, drawing some very inappropriate language. He must have been watching that Tank Abbott mess earlier. Either way, the second suplex is good for a pin but Flair is up at five. To be fair it was just a suplex. Back up and Flair goes after the knees with some kicks and chair shots as Madden tries to play this off as a dramatic silence.
The Figure Four in the ring makes Funk give up quickly for a strategy play and is up before the count even gets close. Flair gets slammed off the top and piledriven on the floor but Funk would rather take back the floor mats than cover. They slug it out again because a piledriver on the floor only keeps you down for about ten seconds these days. Another piledriver on the mats gets a pin but Flair is up at about seven.
It’s table time but Funk has something to say first. He offers Ric the chance to quit and the response earns Flair a mic to the head. Normally that would be a heel move but I don’t think they have any idea who is a face or heel here so it’s acceptable. Funk puts Flair on the table as we cut to Dustin to remind us that he’s here. A really good looking piledriver through the table in the ring knocks Ric silly for…..two, as Terry pulls Ric up before the pin. Funk loads up another table and then covers (huh?) before hammering away at the head. Ric gets up and throws Funk through the table for the pin and the ten count to win.
Rating: C+. Good brawl here but the match was basically in slow motion throughout and the ending was lame. Dustin added nothing to this match and I still have no idea who I was supposed to cheer for. Also, Flair gets piledriven through a table and is on his feet less than two minutes later? Really? Still though, these two are going to have a good match through pure greatness and that’s how they pulled this one off.
Hulk Hogan, straight out of 1994, says the arm is just the break he’s been looking for. They had been teasing a Hulk/Hollywood hybrid coming into the show and there’s no sign of it. Of course. Hulk is willing to snap and crackle Liz if necessary.
Hulk Hogan vs. Total Package
Hogan has a broken arm coming in. Buffer’s entrance: “LET’S BRING EM ON!” Luger jumps him (Hogan, not Buffer) as he hits the ring but Hulk goes to the eyes, which is considered a Hollywood move. The rapid (work with me here) elbows (all two of them) set up some choking and Luger is thrown to the floor for the t-shirt rip. Hogan’s back being to the camera for the big shirt rip clearly shows that he doesn’t know how to work. Hogan slugs away on the floor but comes back inside to eat an elbow to the jaw. Oh yeah this is just going to be a punch and kick match.
Luger takes him back outside for some whips into the barricade but a cast shot to the face staggers Package. Ten rams each into two buckles set up a big right hand as the fans aren’t thrilled with Hogan’s schtick. A Liz distraction lets Luger get in more forearms to the back but Hogan sends him into the barricade again. Hart steals a ball bat from Liz, a suplex is no sold, Luger hits him low, Hart and Hogan both use their casts and the legdrop finishes Lex.
Rating: D. Remember a little while ago when Flair and Funk took a pretty lame match and made it work through pure charisma? Well apparently that only works if you have both guys trying as Hogan was his normal self but Luger was just walking through this match and doing even less than usual. You can’t even have Hulk no sell the steel forearm? The best we can get is a suplex? Worthless match but Hogan’s formula worked so long for a reason.
Post match Flair comes in to go after Hogan’s leg but Sting, with new makeup, returns for the big save. This segment could have easily taken place in 1995 and no one would have noticed the difference.
Hall comes out of his dressing room and sends the security away.
Sid does the same. These segments felt like the build to a commercial.
We recap the World Title match which is Sid defending against two guys feuding over the NWO shenanigans. That stable needs to die (again) already.
The door has been opened and apparently it wasn’t Sting inside. Thankfully they say Sting came from elsewhere in the arena to close a loophole. Unfortunately they leave open the “there was a cameraman on the door so HOW DO WE NOT KNOW WHO WAS INSIDE” loophole.
WCW World Title: Sid Vicious vs. Scott Hall vs. Jeff Jarrett
Sid is defending and this is one fall to a finish with No DQ. Jarrett is introduced as a five time World Champion combined (what does that even mean?) but not the US Champion. That’s awful even by WCW standards. Hall and Jarrett start fighting before Sid comes to the ring and we’ve got less than nine minutes to go in the show. Points to Buffer for still doing Sid’s entrance while Jarrett is running from Hall.
The champ gets double teamed as Hall and Jarrett’s feud is dropped for fear of Sid. That goes nowhere as the Twins interfere to give Jeff control. Jarrett stomps on both guys and Hall doesn’t even let him put on the sleeper before reversing it. The referee is decked maybe three minutes into this, which really shouldn’t mean much given that this is No DQ.
A double chokeslam (with Jeff jumping before Sid even had time to think about moving his arm. I know Sid is Sid, but Jarrett is better than that) gets two from new referee Nick Patrick and Ron gives Jarrett the belt. Sid gets knocked out and Hall grabs some rollups for two each on Jeff, who knocks the second referee out. Sid throws Jeff into a chair, allowing a third referee to count two for Hall. Sid fights the Twins but Jeff pokes the referee in the eye and gives him a Stroke. Come on just get to the finish.
Jarrett beats up the fourth referee before he can do anything and here’s crooked referee Slick Johnson. The Outsider’s Edge plants Jeff but Johnson has a sudden shoulder injury. I’m counting that as a ref bump. The guitar lays out Jarrett and here’s…..oh sweet goodness Roddy Piper is here in a referee’s shirt. He stops Johnson’s count at two, pokes Jarrett in the eye, and watches Sid plant Jeff with a chokeslam. Sid powerbombs Hall to retain with Piper counting, which is the last time we’ll see Hall in a WCW match.
Rating: F. This is another match where if you need an explanation, you haven’t been paying close enough attention. The match ran seven minutes, meaning we had a ref bump about every 100 seconds. On top of that, why does WCW insist on putting Roddy Piper on TV so often? It’s like Undertaker returning over and over: it works for awhile, and then there’s enough of them to make a full on DVD.
Overall Rating: F-. This show is one of the worst kind you can have: it didn’t need to exist and then on top of that it was horrible. What on here couldn’t have been done on TV? Even Flair vs. Funk, the longest match of the night by far at just under sixteen minutes, felt like a TV main event. There are matches on here that feel like they could be TV openers, which is nowhere near enough to make me want to pay to see this show. If the biggest things to happen on a show are a tournament final for the lowest title in the company and ANOTHER Roddy Piper return, there is no need for a show to exist, especially one this horrible.
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